NPR Music

Singer-songwriter Kevin Gordon stopped by Folk Alley recently for a session taping at Beehive Productions. Joined by Steph Graham on bass, Gordon performed material from his latest album, Long Gone Time. About this song, "Following A Sign," he told us:

Smoke Fairies Know The True Meaning Of Christmas

Dec 1, 2015

Holiday songs aren't all jingling sleigh bells and glistening snowflakes. Elvis is having a blue Christmas without you. Bing Crosby won't make it home for the holiday after all. Grandma met her unfortunate end under the hooves of a reindeer.

"When I see Police I'm Amadou Diallo/ Haunted by the bodies Sahara swallowed/ Did I flee Lampedusa to die over you? " asks the Togolese MC, MuRli on "Heathrow,' by the Limerick, Ireland-based trio, Rusangano Family. The song is a mix of immigrant emotions from a first-person perspective that's as personal as it political.

In the early 2000s, Glassjaw was a square peg in a round hole — a dynamic post-hardcore band pitched to a mainstream audience caught somewhere between spiky-haired aggro-metal and swoop-haired screamo. Still, Glassjaw's New York hardcore bona fides were hard to dispute, Daryl Palumbo's nerve-wracking voice could shred and salve on a dime, and the band's melodic subversion and occasional Latin rhythms flew Faith No More's freak flag while also throwing down some grooves.

Latitudes: Our Favorite Global Music Right Now

Dec 1, 2015

Hi Code Switch readers! I'm here from NPR Music, where I mostly cover jazz. I thought you might be interested two big performances we recently featured in which the artists took a moment to talk about police intimidation and violence against African-Americans.

What do you think about when you think about Janis Joplin? Her untamed hair, her eclectic wardrobe, a raspy, soulful singing style that was blues and rock and somehow yet all her own? For many people, she was the quintessential wild child of the late 1960s — especially after her untimely death from a heroin overdose at the age of 27.

In 1964, near the end of his career, Billy Strayhorn accompanied himself on a live recording of one of his best-known songs. It starts:

I used to visit all the very gay places

Those come-what-may places

Billy Strayhorn In Five Songs

Nov 29, 2015

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